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    How powerful are OFCOM?

    This is a discussion on How powerful are OFCOM? within the Website news forums, part of the SkyUser Announcements category; As we all know, new regulations came into place on 14th February 2007, to assist customers of any ISP to ...

    1. #1
      NewsreadeR's Avatar
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      How powerful are OFCOM?

      As we all know, new regulations came into place on 14th February 2007, to assist customers of any ISP to change from one ISP to another.

      Under the new regulations, customers could ask for a MAC and should receive it within 5 days. If any delay whatsoever, the customer should be informed and kept in the loop.

      Well, I put it to the test. On the 15th March 2007, I rang Freedom2Surf as I no longer wanted my Internet service provided by them as tbh during the day it was pants. The final straw was when I could not even update my anti-virus software in the afternoon, or surf the web.

      When I rang I was on the phone for about 20 minutes and ended up arguing with the guy on the other end of the phone. All I wanted was a MAC, all he wanted was to make me fill out a survey.

      As I had had previously another account with them, before switching to Sky, I obtained my MAC for that account on the phone, there and then. This time it was impossible.

      I asked to speak to a supervisior, to be told none were in. I asked to speak to a manager or someone higher, to be told none in. I was told he would send my MAC / Survey by email.

      By the time I had finished on the phone, I was fuming, infact I have never been so angry with any Customer Service agent. He was downright rude, raised his voice and refused to honour the new regulations.

      Today, I had had enough. Still no MAC and still no phone call from a manager / supervisior as promised. I decided to test how powerful this law was. I rang OFCOM on 020 7981 3040 to speak to someone.

      I was told to write back to F2S and quote the following:

      You are in breach of General Condition 22, as you have failed to provide my reasonable request to obtain a MAC from yourselves.

      I was also asked to quote to you:

      Your request to the customer to fill out a survey / email before the issue of a MAC is not a valid reason to with hold the delivery of a said MAC, and so you cannot enforce that condition.

      Promptly given a reference number and all in all was a pleasant phone call. I asked what happens next? He said that F2S should issue you a MAC.

      I pointed out that they should have done this within 5 days, and had not done so, so had effectively stuck two fingers up at OFCOM and the new regulation. I was told, that unless enough people reported the breach, OFCOM were powerless.

      So why did OFCOM bring in the regulation, if they will not police it? Again I asked this and was told, they cannot do anything to the ISP unless it is widespread and that it could be down to teething problems.

      So I politely told him, "I am sorry to waste your time, but obviously, OFCOM will not do anything until a few hundred people report the same thing"

      Funny though, if I go to Tesco's and pinch a loaf of bread, and a packet of smash, I would be arrested and charged, on my first offence.

      OFCOM what is the point?


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    3. #2
      NewsreadeR's Avatar
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      Re: How powerful are OFCOM?

      I have just now, received my MAC, however the point is I had to contact OFCOM before this happened, and I bet nothing happens to the offending ISP.

      At least they had the guts to say sorry.

      I am sorry about the issues you have had with obtaining your MAC. If there is any thing further I can assist you with then please feel free to pm me.
      Last edited by NewsreadeR; 23-03-07 at 07:00 PM.


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    4. #3
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      Re: How powerful are OFCOM?

      Unfortunately OFCOM are notorious for making recommendations and forcing through legislation but have no teeth to follow it through. Fines they have issued to companies in the past have been frankly inconsequential when taking profits into account. Also this lack of power does not just stop with OFCOM, we have seen OFWAT give ridiculously low fines to water companies for not reaching targets (even the Thames Water fine last year was a bit of a joke and that was a record!), and my brother who is on Virgin Media holds very little hope that the investigation into Sky VS Virgin will yield little or no joy.

      These organisations seem little more than pressure groups with no real power and so the big companies out there can continue to screw us all!!

    5. #4
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      Re: How powerful are OFCOM?

      From what I know OFCOM hands are tied, I did come across a story on the BBC that other day where by the Goverment are concidering giving the likes of OFCOM more powers so they can't start coming down on rogue ISPs, werther it will happen is another thing.

    6. #5
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      Re: How powerful are OFCOM?

      If any company are taken to task over any form of regulation breaking they can be liable to a fine of 5% of there gross annual income.

      Now that's a helluva lot of pennies.

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      Smile Re: How powerful are OFCOM?

      Hi Newsreader,

      I am with F2S. and asked for my MAC code on the 15th March. Yes i was sent a question form. It took me 2 mins to fill out. Why was I leaving? what would it take to keep me?

      I recived my MAC on the 17th march. No problems.

      I have now ordered SKY connect. I hope they give me the 5 years of good service F2S did until Pipex took them over...

    8. #7
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      Re: How powerful are OFCOM?

      Sounds like you were trying to get a MAC from sky, I asked for one on the 15th and never received until the 21st, was told by two people that they could not give over the phone and was then given it over the phone by a third.

      havent bothered ringing OFCOM, maybe I should as I'm sure they will probably have received millions of complaints about sky.

     

     

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